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Staines, Ali G: English Town Made Infamous By Sacha Baron Cohen Changes Its Name

05/21/12 07:58 AM ET AP

Staines Ali G
Sacha Baron Cohen's character Ali G put Staines on the map.

LONDON -- The town made infamous by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G character has changed its name.

The sleepy London commuter settlement of Staines has upgraded its name to the more majestic-sounding "Staines-upon-Thames."

Staines' history stretches back to Roman times but the town gained international notoriety as the home of the fictional Ali G, Baron Cohen's hopelessly stupid hip-hop wannabe.

Ali G's adventures cast the town of 45,000 as a cultural wasteland whose star sights included a traffic circle and the local KFC.

The town initially welcomed Baron Cohen's fame, but the negative connotations lingered even as the comedian moved on to other projects, including the movies "Borat," and "The Dictator."

Local officials hope the new name, made official on Sunday, will refocus attention on the city's riverside attractions.

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    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen climbs on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen falls as he climbs on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen climbs on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen falls as he climbs on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen falls as he climbs on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen falls as he climbs on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen sits on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen falls from a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen walks with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen walks with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen walks with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen walks with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen sits on a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen walks with a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen poses during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 'Dictator' At Cannes

    British actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as Admiral General Aladeen puts a scarf around a camel during a photocall to promote the film 'The Dictator' in front of the Carlton Hotel at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16, 2012 in Cannes. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf-Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf=Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf=Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf-Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf=Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf-Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf-Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf-Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Press Conference

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Sacha Baron Cohen as 'The Dictator' Press Conference at The Waldorf-Astoria on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Arrives In Sydney

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  • "The Dictator" Arrives In Sydney

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: Actor Sacha Baron Cohen arrives as 'The Dictator' at Sydney International Airport on May 1, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

  • "The Dictator" Arrives In Sydney

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 01: Actor Sacha Baron Cohen arrives as 'The Dictator' at Sydney International Airport on May 1, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

  • Sacha Baron Cohen disperses the fake ash

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  • 84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as the character General Aladeen from his movie, 'The Dictator,' arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • 84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as his character 'General Aladeen,' arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)



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